Skipper returns to give Proteas a timely batting boost

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Proteas captain Faf du Plessis returns to bolster the squad ahead of the third and final ODI against Zimbabwe at Boland Park in Paarl on Saturday.

Du Plessis was initially ruled out of the series, but has made a faster recovery than expected from a right shoulder injury.

The Proteas wrapped up the series with the 120-run win in the second ODI in Bloemfontein on Wednesday, but remain motivated to finish the series off strongly, particularly as opportunities to cement positions in the squad lessen.

“The guys have been training hard,” Du Plessis said to the media at Boland Park on Friday. “I have also been training hard with the guys and I’m feeling excited to be back on the field again. The guys are motivated, we are not only looking at what is in front of us now, there is a bigger purpose and push for what lies ahead. At no stage will we be taking it easy. The guys are still trying to impress and are trying to get into that World Cup side.

“The players are motivated and driven to put in performances to put their names into the hat for the World Cup selection,” he explained. “As a team, we are still trying to find our feet as to how exactly we are going to go about playing in the World Cup. There are some exceptional players coming through which is great to see.”


Du Plessis has been travelling with the team despite his injury and has been able to keep up to date with the progress of the squad and players. He says he has been impressed by some of the individual performances throughout the series, but hopes for better batting conditions to give the batsmen an opportunity to put up big scores.

“The bowling has been exceptional once again,” he praised. “ We have some good wicket-taking options throughout the innings. That is what we are working to get better on, from overs 11 – 50, we want to keep getting wickets, Imran (Tahir) has been exceptional.  With the batting, it is too difficult to say where we have been leaving it too short or where we have been good because it has been quite challenging for the batsmen.

“It (batting) has been difficult with the wickets that we have been playing on,” he admitted. “One or two guys have been looking good but from a batting-unit point of view it has been tough for the guys. I am hoping tomorrow (Saturday) will be a lot different, it looks like a good wicket. That is what you want to see, you want big runs on the board and games going on a bit longer.”